Paul Gray, 1972-2010

ON MAY 24, PAUL GRAY WAS FOUND dead in a hotel room outside Des Moines, Iowa.

ON MAY 24, PAUL GRAY WAS FOUND dead in a hotel room outside Des Moines, Iowa. He was 38. Gray was a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning band Slipknot, which developed a massive following after emerging from the Iowa club scene in the late ’90s. Typically identified by the numbers the mask-wearing musicians wore on their sleeves, Gray was known to most fans as “#2” or “the pig.”

The California-born musician moved as a child to Iowa, where he began playing bass in such local metal bands as Anal Blast, Vexx, Body Put, and Inveigh Catharsi. He co-founded Slipknot in 1995. Gray cited Flea, Les Claypool, and Cliff Burton as early influences, and told BASS PLAYER that it wasn’t long after switching to bass (from guitar) that he began to expand his musical horizons by listening to players like Stu Hamm, Jaco Pastorius, and Victor Wooten.

“I don’t go up there to show off,” the lefthanded Gray told BASS PLAYER in 2005. “I could if I wanted to, but it’s not what our band needs. [Skeptics] look at us and go, ‘The band has sold millions of records and wears masks, so obviously they can’t actually play their instruments.’ But we can actually all play our instruments well. We’re out here playing shows to a lot of kids and having a good time doing it, and that’s really all that matters to me.” Gray is survived by his wife Brenna, who is expecting the couple’s first child.


Paul McCartney to begin 'Up and Coming' 2010 tour

 Paul McCartney has announced the first two dates of his forthcoming, extensive 'Up and Coming' 2010 tour.  In keeping with his headline-making special concerts over the last few years, the tour will see the iconic star and his band play unique venues, places and locations; new cities he's never played and familiar markets he's not visited for a while.

Bill Willis, 1931–2010

ON FEBRUARY 9TH, 2010 BILL WILLIS died at age 78. Willis was a smooth, solid, and articulate bassist, organist, and vocalist who sparked some of the strongest grooves to come out of the King Records studios, playing with such artists as Charles Brown, James Brown, Hank Ballard, LaVerne Baker, Little Willie John, Freddie King, Lloyd Price, and Syd Nathan.

The Cribs' Gary Jarman On Melodic Punk Rock

LAST YEAR WAS A BUSY ONE FOR Cribs frontman Gary Jarman; his melodic post-punk brood with brothers Ryan and Ross released its fourth album (featuring “newbie” bandmate Johnny Marr on guitar), he married his girlfriend Joanna Bolme (bassist for Quasi and Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks), and he went under the knife for a surgery on his vocal chords. Yet judging from his band’s demanding tour schedule, the Yorkshire native (and Portland resident) shows no signs of slowing. On a recent stop in San Francisco, Gary took a few minutes to talk punk rock, warming up, and the joy of a well-crafted countermelody.

Eric Avery: Sound Tsunami: Ocean Size Subhooks Return To JANE’S ADDICTION

STALKING THE STAGE LIKE A caged cat, pounding his low-slung PBass with a sneer solidly etched on his face, Eric Avery seems like a man with a lot on his mind. Between 1985 and 1991, the Jane’s Addiction bassist crafted some of the catchiest subhooks in modern rock. Since rejoining the seminal alternative rock band earlier this year, he’s been on a quest to make it all sound better. On a recent stop outside San Francisco, Avery sat for a spell with BP to talk about the perils of low end, the importance of punch, and his practiced methods for attaining balance.

Dickie Peterson 1946–2009

DICKIE PETERSON, FOUNDING member of the hard rock band Blue Cheer, died October 12th in Erkelenz, Germany. The 63-year-old singer and bassist had been battling liver cancer. Coming out of San Francisco in the late ’60s, Blue Cheer took the flower-power psychedelia of bands like Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead and gave it a harder edge, crafting a sound that would later be echoed in punk rock and heavy metal. As bassist and singer, Peterson poured his heart and soul into the band, a blues-rooted power trio in the vein of Cream and Mountain. The band’s 1968 debut Vincebus Eruptum contained its biggest hit, a remake of the Eddie Cochran song “Summertime Blues.” Blue Cheer dissolved in 1972, but Peterson revived the rock troupe in 1984, and later recorded two solo albums. Until being overtaken by the Who in 1976, Blue Cheer was listed as the “Loudest Band in the World” by the Guinness Book of World Records. In a video interview at serenedominic. com, Peterson described how the